In Memoriam: Erwin G. Loewen, 1921-2016
Erwin G. Loewen, an OSA Fellow and an internationally recognized expert on diffraction gratings, passed away on 8 June 2016 at the age of 95.
Loewen was born in Germany and emigrated to the US in 1938. He received a BMechE degree from New York University in 1941 and then served in the Army Corps of Engineers during World War II, where he achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant. Following the war, he pursued further study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). While at MIT, Loewen received MS, MMechE, and DSc degrees and stayed on as an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering for three years. Loewen directed the Grating Laboratory at Bausch & Lomb for over 25 years and continued his career at Milton Roy from which he retired in 1987. While at Bausch & Lomb, he led a team focused on the development of diffraction grating ruling and replication. Loewen taught at the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics after leaving his position at Milton Roy and was an adjunct professor until 1997.
Over the course of his career, he published extensively including coauthoring Diffraction Gratings and Applications
with Evgeny Popov in 1997 and many articles on gratings and metrology. Loewen received numerous awards such as the OSA Richardson Medal and Joseph Fraunhofer Award/ Robert M. Burley Prize, Rochester Engineer of the Year Award and the Technology Award from the Rochester Chamber of Commerce. He also served as President of the Rochester Section of OSA and two terms on the advisory panel for the National Bureau of Standards, now the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
In addition to a passion for his research, Loewen was dedicated to his family and many friends in the community. Loewen was known for his appreciation of gourmet food, fine wine, photography, traveling, and writing of memoirs. He is survived by his second wife Anita Rosenfeld of Rochester and his children and grandchildren.